Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Australia
Allow at least a month from arrival in Australia to wedding date to process paperwork, unless prepared in advance (a month is for filing a Notice of Intended Marriage). We recommend giving yourself more time due to weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in English. Contact the Embassy in your home country or the Embassy in Australia for an authorized translator. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Original or certified copy of birth certificates
- Valid Passports
- Divorce decree, death certificates and/or adoption certificate, if applicable
- Deed Poll (Any change of name requires stamped and dated legal proof by a solicitor), if applicable.
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
All legally recognized weddings are preformed by authorized celebrants. These ceremonies can be traditional, religious or non-denominational. The ceremony is preformed in English. If either party does not speak English, an interpreter should be hired.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age. If they are underage, parental consent is necessary. With parental consent, either or both parties must be at least 16 years of age. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. For example, the United States requires that both parties be 18 years of age for your marriage to be recognized upon your return to the United States. The bride and groom cannot be related by blood (distant relations may be exempt) or adoption.
Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony.
A Notice of Intended Marriage form must be filled out at least a month and a day prior to your wedding date. This form can be faxed or downloaded (PDF on right hand side), filled out and witnessed outside of Australia in preparation for the big day. If needed, there are ways to reduce this processing period if Registry Officials find that you meet the criteria. The form can be obtained by an Authorized Celebrant of your choice, the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry Office in the intended area of marriage, or from the Australian High Commission/Embassy in your home country.
- The bride, groom and witnesses will sign all the required documents at the ceremony. There will be three Marriage Certificates (Form 15) issued; one for the celebrant to retain, one for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and your certificate.
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in Australia” in the subject line.